On Monday Dr. Lisa Floyd, Clarke County Public Schools Director of Curriculum and Instruction told the Board of Supervisors that new text books and a more focused attention on teacher evaluation guidelines are just part of the school division’s initiatives for improving public education in Clarke County.
Floyd’s presentation highlighted:
Implemented an Algebra Readiness assessment to better prepare teachers in meeting student needs. Training regarding the use of that data is ongoing.
SOL assessments are moving online at the elementary level. Student training progresses throughout the year through visits to practice test sites. Teacher training progresses – they are exposed to tools students have access to, how to monitor student time on task, and proper exiting of online assessments. Online writing takes places this February.
The IEP Plus program is in training phase with implementation expected for the 2012-2013 school year. The program will allow teachers access to IEPs online, improved ability to track student goals, and assist with state reporting.
Alignment of New Math Standards K-12 – Teachers attended the Virginia Department of Education Math Institutes to learn about the changes in math standards, the impact these standards have on the state assessments, and the focus teachers should have as they deliver instruction. These teachers provided training to their colleagues during our School Improvement Day.
Renewed focus on Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) at the elementary level. A PALS representative provided training on Data Analysis of our PALS data. A second training was held to discuss the importance of teaching Concept of Word and strategies to assist that training. A third training is scheduled for our next School Improvement Day targeting Progress Monitoring of students.
“We brought trainers in from the University of Virginia to assist us with our PALS implementation,” Floyd said. “PALS is a powerful tool for helping us to better understand where kids are in their learning. We’re excited to watch how it filters down through the grade levels.”
Benchmark Assessment Initiative – Interactive Achievement is used division wide to administer benchmark assessments as a means to monitor instruction to students. As benchmarks are linked to pacing guides, this has initiated discussion about consistency of pacing guides across buildings. Training regarding administering benchmarks and use of the reporting tools available is on-going. This looks different in each of the buildings. The elementary level has begun the process of administering benchmark assessments only. The middle school uses the tool for benchmarks and classroom assessments. Use of the reporting tool varies. The high school has principal led discussions regarding use of the reporting tool to make instructional decisions.
Teacher Evaluation Guidelines
A Teacher Evaluation Committee has been created to address the Virginia Department of Education’s new guidelines. Divisions across the state are required to implement a teacher evaluation tool that addresses the new guidelines for the 2012- 2013 school year. Our committee
Improvement Plan. Our initial goal was to have something we could pilot for second semester, allowing time to tweak it before the official roll out.
Floyd said that CCPS is currently working to adapt its Teacher Evaluation Guidelines so that the guidelines meet state requirements but also meet local evaluation goals.
Clarke County is a member of the Northern Virginia Council for Gifted & Talented Education (NVCGTE) – This group has been working to address the new Virginia Department of Education gifted guidelines that must be implemented for the 2012-2013 school year. We have a committee that is reviewing the original plan, the new guidelines, and is working on creating a new plan that keeps us in compliance with the guidelines, addresses needs of students, and is manageable by staff.
Math textbooks K-5, Algebra I and Algebra II textbooks have been reviewed. A purchase order has been submitted. Training regarding use of the textbooks, CDs, and online features of the materials have been scheduled.
“The new geometry textbooks have already been purchased and are being used,” Floyd said. “Algebra books have been ordered.” Floyd said that because of changes in state guidelines for math, CCPS teachers will be receiving additional instruction along with the new math books.
Floyd also told the Supervisors that the school division is working to create a division-wide standard for improving teacher performance.
“We are currently working on a standard, division-wide teacher improvement plan,” Floyd said. “We expect to roll out the plan by the second semester.”